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Dos and Don'ts of a Successful Fitness Plan

Avoiding Common Fitness Pitfalls

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  • I do not do well grazing, mini meals, whatever you want to call it.

    for me it turns into 5 full meals somehow

    I do far better eating 3 good, solid meals a day and maybe having some yogurt or something when I first get home from work.
  • KATHIE_B
    I agree with the previous poster. Several mini meals a day may work for some people but its not a "one size fits all" solution.

    I have maintained my weight loss for over 4 years now and sometimes I am really surprised by some the the do's and don't I find here.
  • I don't know that the advice about the several "mini meals" per day works for everyone. Grazing is a problem for me, particularly when I'm sitting at my desk and bored. And even if I packed 3-4 mini "meals" to cover the portion of time I'm at work, I'd eat 3/4 or it before noon for no other reason than it was there. Having a set breakfast, lunch and dinner time (averaging 500 calories each), with 1-2 optional snacks based on what I eat at meals, (or if my schedule calls for a late dinner) works far better. Plus, I don't have the time or the creativity to really plan out 5 different things to eat every day.

    Incidentally, I also find that I feel nauseous or have other problems if I eat anything an hour before a workout. The focus should be on hydration.

    On the issue of stretching before a workout; I think the idea is to do a warmup with moderate stretching before working out, just to get the muscles ready for exertopm. Deep stretching should generally only be done after a workout. I make an exception when I already feel exceptionally tight at the start of a workout; generally leg tightness from a prior day's workout or a stiff back and neck from sitting all day long.
  • I just did a load of research on this subject. For decades, people said to stretch before and after, but all the most recent, current studies say that you should only stretch after. The author of this article is following outdated information, and needs to fix it.
  • thanks for the article, I just got started and doing well but I tend to over-exercise or do nothing at all. I have to keep reminding myself that I have to build a routine up and start slowly...
  • WANDAC2013
    DO stretch before exercising? I thought the muscles were supposed to be warmed up BEFORE stretching.
  • I agree completely with the need for variety in exercise. Personally, I've developed a lot of friends in (and loyalty toward) the zumba class/instructor I've been involved with since August. So, I felt a little guilty when I started to get bored and feel like skipping it. I had to tell myself that:

    1) there are plenty of people that don't go to the class every session, and they don't feel guilty about it and
    2) as long as I PARTICIPATE in fitness on a regular basis, it doesn't matter what I do or where.

    Once I gave myself permission to try something new, I found a bellydancing class that I'm really excited about (and I'm still going to zumba on the weekends!).
  • Always nice to have a "Sounding Board " to remind you of your Dreams and Goals.. Thankyou...Barbby
  • Good article but you should "warm up" before you stretch or else you risk injury according to what I've read & been taught.
  • I find when I hit a plateau, I try to change my calorie intake, (sometimes more) and I change my workout routine or add to it. This does usually make the numbers on the scale more downward. (I've lost 92 lbs. this way!) Also, when I get the feeling I don't want to exercise, that's when I force myself to because I know it always makes me feel better. I have bouts of mild depression and exercise is my medicine.
  • Great list here! The one I liked best was to choose alternatives when you have a craving. I think that's the key to eating healthfully. You HAVE to eat - it's just a matter of choosing better foods to eat.
  • This is a great article. I can identify with the goal setting part. Sometimes we set up unrealistic goals and when we can't reached them, we despair and then quit. Small goals are easier to reach and makes us feel good, so we can start another until we reach our ultimate goal.
  • VEGEMONSTER, I've heard similar, but I think the idea is that you're not supposed to stretch thoroughly before weight training and things like that. I've read that it IS a good idea to stretch your legs out before running and such. After all, the theory that stretching out cold muscles is bad for you doesn't really make sense. You would be stretching them out by exercising, too. ;o)
  • Very encouraging article.
  • I've read many times that stretching BEFORE exercising (before our muscles are warmed up) is bad because you can hurt yourself by stretching cold muscles and it can also impede performance (which isn't the biggest concern for most of us... most of us aren't performance athletes).

    Just sayin.

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